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The Glorious Matcha

September 30, 2017

 

An introductory guide to the world of matcha.

The world is swooning over the vibrant green colors of matcha tea. People all over are raving about its benefits and healthy facts. It's no more just a fad, it's now a phenomenon that's taking the global community by storm.

And here you are lost and wondering what this hullabaloo is all about. You might have heard of matcha but have no idea what it means or where it comes from! Worry no more. Here's your quick guide to the world of matcha and why you're missing out on something big if you haven't tried it yet.

Matcha, for the uninitiated, is a variant of green tea that comes from Matcha tea leaves. These plants are usually covered to prevent direct exposure to sunlight and this results in an increase in chlorophyll levels. Now you know the secret behind that deep, soothing jade green colour.

The leaves are dried through a process and then ground to a fine powder. When it comes to the quality of matcha, the color is crucial. One can easily distinguish premium quality matcha from everything else based on the colour as the higher quality matcha will be darker. Superior qualities of matcha usually come from the hills of Japan where they are organically grown with love and care.

Although you might think of this as a new trend, in Japan the green tea ritual has been renowned for almost 800 years now. It can be attributed to Zen Buddhist priests whose monastic codes also describe the ritual of making tea. They found that the tea brought them a sense of clarity, focus, energy, and a feeling of well-being.

The traditional preparation involves dissolving the powdery matcha in hot water with a small bamboo whisk until frothy. The tea can be bitter, so Japanese tea ceremonies usually include a small sweet to be eaten before drinking the tea. The ceremony in itself is very calming to watch.

Matcha is high on antioxidants. These antioxidants boost our immune system, increase metabolism, provide a natural glow to the skin, and help fight degenerative diseases like diabetes, dementia, and even cancer. Matcha is also beneficial for people who follow a healthy lifestyle as it maintains energy levels, helps curb unwanted fats, and enhances mood.

Most importantly, in a world that's fast-paced with renewed stress levels at every turn, matcha comes in handy. It is a source of L-theanine, an amino acid that has been researched for promoting relaxing effects when one consumes it in sufficient amounts. Which is why matcha is highly recommended when you want to revitalize and rejuvenate after a long, tiring day at work.

Impressive, huh? It's also super easy to make. Here's how you can fix yourself a cup of steaming matcha-

1. Scoop one or two teaspoons of matcha powder in a tea bowl or a mug.

2. Add 2 oz of hot water that's not boiling over the powder.

3. Whisk gently and let the powder dissolve. You can whisk in a "W" pattern for a frothier matcha.

4. For a thicker matcha aka koicha, increase the quantity of powder used. Pour the mixture in a cup and lose yourself in a world of peace and calm.

Now that you know what the craze is all about, go get your hands on a packet of matcha soon.

 

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